Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Traveling Journal

When Melanie and I dreamed up this blog the emphasis was definitely on the idea of a collective, a group of equals, a roundtable experience.

Reading and discussing on the blog was part of the intellectual side, but we also wanted to do some things to bring out the creative side.

One of the things we decided we would like to do is launch a traveling journal. This would start out as a blank book which would be sent from member to member in an endless journey, each person adding their own contribution along the way. It could be anything you like - art work, swatches, a book review, musings on life the universe and everything, a journal entry about your day, photographs...etc...

Melanie and I thought this would be a great way for all of us to get to know each other better, and a perfect expression of the Bluestocking Roundtable ideal, individual parts that come together to make up a whole...

Of course it's up to you guys though so what do you think? Shall we do it?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Where is the Madwoman??

Last night - went hunting on the shelves for my old copy of Madwoman. Alas - she is nowhere to be found. Vague memories of book being eaten by dog.... Oh well, over to Amazon to buy a new copy! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Madwoman in the Attic - thoughts on the introduction to the 2nd edition

(edited 9.17.07 - The BronteBlog already has picked us up!)

My undergraduate degree in English was granted in early 1975 by a country-club-like college, whose English professors were all - save one - male and reactionary. Their idea of reading women's literature was to compare the green light in The Great Gatsby to the zipless f**k in Fear of Flying. (I am not making this up.) I never heard of the New Critical theories until I stumbled upon them them on my own, over a decade later. My first reaction, a beak-dropping "huh?" (see below...), holds to this day.

Now that I have read the new introduction to Madwoman, I am again torn between laughter and scorn for the mainstream critical academy. Sandra Gilbert's slightly-bitter overview of the critics who battered the Madwoman from the moment of her birth leaves me wondering why anybody would bother to read at all, if the experience (the personal, subjective experience, that is) had to be purified and filtered through the latest critical net.

The larger question, of course, is whether any of the heroines of this book - the Brontes, say, or Emily Dickinson - would recognize themselves in the postmodern/deconstructed/exquisitely-partisan world of the critics, whose vocabulary has become so fractured and abstruse as to seem ("seem," madame?) deliberately obscure. (Sandra Gilbert's phrase "a jargon... of our own" made me snort with glee.) They would appreciate, I believe, the original work that Gilbert and Gubar undertook, to examine and excavate their art in the context of their times, but I can not imagine any of them being particularly sanguine in the face of their imminent deconstruction.

(Oh, and wouldn't you like to be in the room when Camille Paglia is outed as a non-feminist?)

Have you seen the AFLAC commercial in which the Duck's beak drops when Yogi Berra says that cash is the same as money? That's the quintessential beak-dropping moment, at least from my essentialist, seedcake-loving, personal, authoritorial, and individually-deluded stance.

So far, so good. I'm loving this book!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Launch of the HMS Bluestocking :)

Hey All -

Glad we are finally launching this baby! Life is kinda crazy for me this week but I'll join in on the read-along next week. Now I just have to find my copy of Madwoman & hope it's not so old that it falls apart in my hands!

Two more things -

1.Let's invite some more brainy/crafty gals to join us.

2.Is anyone interested in possibly reading some short stories? I got my nephew interested in Flannery O'Connor's stories last month and in the process of re-reading a few of them I remembered how good they were. very quick to read but provide plenty of grist for the blog & thinking mill. Do either of you know her work? Opinions on reading it?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Can we change the background? It's really hard for me to read anything on a black background.